Major tech firms are clearly on the side of Hillary Clinton with Trump failing to win much favour in Silicon Valley
America will decide who will be its next president out of the Democrats’ Hillary Clinton or the Republicans’ Donald Trump as the polls are due to open within mere hours.
There is certainly a split between the American people on who should ascend to the White House to hold the so-called ‘most powerful job in the world’. But the US technology sector, comprising of some of the most powerful and influential companies in the world, appear to nail their colours firmly to Clinton’s mast.
“We believe in an inclusive country that fosters opportunity, creativity and a level playing field. Donald Trump does not,” states an open letter from the self-appointed ‘technology sector’, penned last month.
The open letter was signed by more than 100 of Silicon Valley’s top brass, and pleads with America to refrain from voting for Trump.
Battle for the White House
“He campaigns on anger, bigotry, fear of new ideas and new people, and a fundamental belief that America is weak and in decline,” it argues.
“We have listened to Donald Trump over the past year and we have concluded: Trump would be a disaster for innovation.”
But there are some technology oracles who are keen Republican supporters and are happy to throw their weight behind Trump
Here’s the lineup of tech’s biggest influencers and who they’re supporting for president or if they err on the side of Republican or Democrat:
Palmer Luckey: Donald Trump
Starting off with the more bizarre cases of presidential support, founder of VR firm Oculus Palmer Luckey was found to be funding Nimble America, a pro-Trump, anti-Clinton posting political advocacy group that showcased its support for Trump through the use on memes.
Luckey did not come out in direct support for Trump nor did he appear to honestly disclose how involved he was in Nimble America. but it would appear that he is erring on the side of Trump or at least the Republicans.
Since the whole incident Luckey seems to have retreated from the public eye, but given hoe Oculus is owned by Facebook, there is a change the liberal social network took exception to Palmer’s support of Clinton bashing.
Larry Ellison: Republican
Not exactly a Trump supporter, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison appears ot be firmly in the Rebublican camp having backed candidate Marco Rubio to the tune of $5 million through the Conservative Solutions PAC.
But Rubio lost the Florida primary which promptly ended his race to the White House. As such, it will have to be seen if Ellison throw his weight behind Trump.
Elon Musk: Hillary Clinton
SpaceX chief executive and all-round tech entrepreneur Elon Musk originally started out supporting Republican Rubio like Ellison. But when Rubio was out of contention, Musk switched support for Clinton, stating to CNBC that he believes Trump to not be the right person for president: “He doesn’t seem to have the sort of character that reflects well on the United States.”
However, Musk appears to not be overly impressed with the caliber of either candidates having said: “I don’t think this is the finest moment in our democracy.”
Meg Whitman: Hillary Clinton
HPE CEO Whitman is actually a Republican but has officially endorsed Hilary Clinton as the next US president. She penned a Facebook status about her decision to go against Donald Trump, her party’s nominee.
“Trump’s reckless and uninformed positions on critical issues – from immigration to our economy to foreign policy – have made it abundantly clear that he lacks both the policy depth and sound judgment required as President,” she said.
“Trump’s unsteady hand would endanger our prosperity and national security. His authoritarian character could threaten much more.”
Aaron Levie: Hillary Clinton
Box CEO Aaron Levie is a big fan of Clinton. He told Bloomberg in June: “Hillary’s initiatives are focused on how you have tech and innovation policies that can make sure America stays at the forefront of innovation.
“It’s too scary to imagine what a Trump White House would mean for Silicon Valley.”
During a visit to the UK earlier this year he quipped that he spent much of his time outside the US “apologising for Trump”
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has taken his support for Clinton to new levels. Cook will hold a fundraiser for Clinton later in August but his company also declined to donate Apple equipment for use in the Republican convention in Cleveland.
Peter Thiel: Donald Trump
PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is somewhat outspoken about his support for Trump, claiming: “Fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline, and no one in this race is being honest about it except Donald Trump,” at the Republican National Convention earlier this year.
Thiel invested heavily in Facebook in the social network’s early day, and is well known for ruffling feathers in Silicon Valley.
In a 2009 essay titled ‘The Education of a Libertarian’, Thiel stated: “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.”
Carl Icahn: Donald Trump
Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, who sold off his entire stake in Apple in April, told CNBC news in June: “It’s “ridiculous” to call Trump a racist. You need somebody like Donald in Washington very badly.”
Pierre Omidyar: Hilary Clinton
Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar while not and out-and-out supporter of Clinton reportedly donated $250,000 to Never Means Never, and anti-Trump campign that uses the #NeverTrump hashtag on Twitter to encourage Republican not to vote for their party’s candidate.
And he is not alone with Keith Rabois, a former PayPal executive, also supporting the Never Means Never movement, signaling that even if there is not a public display of support for Clinton, she is at least a more desirable presidential candidate than Trump.
And the rest…
Silicon Valley appears to be significantly in favour of Clinton, with support coming from Instagram product head Kevin Weil, TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot, and Tumblr CEO David Karp.
Research by Crowdpac further qualifies this as it highlights just how overwhelmingly supportive Silicon Valley is of Clinton, revealing that Trump received just $117,000 in donations from the tech sector, compared with more than $3 million donated to Clinton’s campaign.
Time will soon tell if the support of Silicon Valley can have a large effect on the outcomes of the presidential election, but we can be sure that if Trump somehow snatches victory, the tech luminaries of the US will not be best pleased.